It’s clear Republican State Representative John Zimmerman is not on our side.
Zimmerman gave mining companies a sweetheart deal that threatens our clean drinking water.
Zimmerman’s Bill Would Allow Mines To Stay On Standby “For Up To 100 Years And Reopen With No Public Notice.” According to the Silver City Daily Press & Independent, “Mines could suspend operations but remain on standby for up to 100 years and reopen with no public notice under House Bill 625, sponsored by Rep. John Zimmerman, R-Las Cruces. […] But a provision that would remove a cap on the number of years a mine can remain on standby would be a big concern for Grant County and the Silver City area, which is near two open-pit copper mines that cover thousands of acres — some of the largest in the nation, Siwik said. Currently, a mine can remain on standby for five years at a time, up to 20 years. At the end of each five-year term, the company can request to extend the period. If a company wants to reopen a mine, the Mining and Minerals Division and the public must be notified, and a hearing must held to determine if any changes are needed to the original mine operation permit. Under HB 625, a mine could essentially remain on standby for at least 100 years. If at any time a mine’s operators wanted to reopen, they would need only alert the state in a letter. No public review of the request or the mine’s operating permit would be required under the bill.” [Silver City Daily Press & Independent, 3/13/15]
Zimmerman’s Bill Also Removed “A Provision Of The Mining Act” Requiring A “Company That Closes A Mine To Ensure That The Site Is Reclaimed” So That “It Never Presents A Threat To Groundwater.” According to the Silver City Daily Press & Independent, “Siwik said the bill also removes a provision of the Mining Act that requires a company that closes a mine to ensure that the site is reclaimed in such a way that it never presents a threat to groundwater and meets environmental standards. If an older open-pit mine, like Freeport McMoRan’s copper mine near Silver City, closed now, it would have to continually pump out water collecting in the pits and treat it to prevent contamination from seeping into groundwater as part of its reclamation. The act encourages new mines to be designed in such a way that they won’t require continual care after they are closed.” [Silver City Daily Press & Independent, 3/13/15]
He took $17,000 from oil and gas companies and voted to take away local government’s ability to stop them from fracking where ever they want.
No one thought we needed local laws to stop fracking in our neighborhoods until it happened to residents of Rio Rancho last year.
Nov 12, 2015 – One of the nation’s largest oil producers has set its eyes on Sandoval County, with an application for exploratory drilling scheduled to be heard …
Zimmerman Took $17,700 In Contributions From Oil & Gas Interests. According to the New Mexico Secretary of State, John Zimmerman took $17,700 in contributions from oil & gas interests. [New Mexico Secretary of State, accessed 9/27/16]
Zimmerman Supported “An Oil And Gas State Preemption Bill – Which Would Give The State The Authority To Allow Oil And Gas Drilling Anywhere, Even When A Municipal Or County Ordinance Prohibits It.” According to the Silver City Daily Press & Independent, “While he too voted in favor of industrial hemp farming, that was the sole issue where Republican Rep. John Zimmerman agreed with CVNM, earning the freshman representative a score of only 8 percent “pro-conservation.” The key issues on which CVNM and Zimmerman disagreed were an oil and gas state preemption bill — which would give the state the authority to allow oil and gas drilling anywhere, even when a municipal or county ordinance prohibits it; a bill to allow the privatization of several government agencies; and a move to reduce renewable portfolio standards, removing incentives for companies to move toward renewable energy. [Silver City Daily Press & Independent, 10/23/15]
HB 366 “Would Have Invalidated Any County And Municipality Ordinance Relating To Oil And Gas Law, Including Zoning Ordinances – Removing The Critical Flexibility That Communities Need To Protect The Public Interest On A Local Scale.” According to Conservation New Mexico, “Counties and municipalities have the power to adopt local ordinances that best suit community needs and interests. To date, some communities have passed ordinances restricting certain aspects of oil and gas production in response to concerns of water contamination and health risks. HB 366 would have invalidated any county and municipality ordinance relating to oil and gas law, including zoning ordinances–removing the critical flexibility that communities need to protect the public interest on a local scale.” [Conservation New Mexico, accessed 6/28/16], Zimmerman voted YES.
HB 366 Would “Limit Local Control And Gives The State Oil Conservation Division And Oil Conservation Commission Exclusive Authority To Regulate Oil And Gas Extraction.” According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, “On a 37-28 vote, the House passed an amended version of House Bill 366, which limits local control and gives the state Oil Conservation Division and Oil Conservation Commission exclusive authority to regulate oil and gas extraction, well siting and processing except on tribal lands.” [Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/10/15]
Republican State Representative John Zimmerman is great at looking out for his corporate pals, too bad his job is to look out for us.
Paid for by Progressive Champions PAC.